Friday, January 20th marked one of the most controversial events in the history of our country, and in the view of many women, a step back in the progress of getting more women in leadership. On this date, Donald J. Trump became the 45th president of the United States.
Everywhere I turn, I see articles and hear conversation among women about what a setback this is. While I typically have a personal policy to not engage with my audience in a conversation about politics (or my family and friends for that matter), in this case I feel the responsibility to make one statement to women who feel deflated by this election: NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO GIVE UP.
While the position of the President of the United States is highly powerful, it is still one person. While we are focused on this one person, we should not let it overshadow new examples of women succeeding into powerful, leadership roles.
Here are three examples of female CEO appointments occurring early in our new year:
Margaret "Margo" Georgiadis will replace Christopher Sinclair on February 8, 2017 as CEO of Mattel.
Geisha Williams will replace Tony Earley, Jr., on March 1, 2017 as CEO and President of PG&E Corporation.
Michele Buck will replace John P. Bilbrey, on March 1, 2017 as CEO and President of Hershey
Men are starting to show up in their support for women in leadership. It’s highly unlikely that any of these women would be stepping into these roles without their predecessor’s support. And they certainly have the support of their boards, which are largely comprised of men.
So women, keep your eye on the ball. Don’t let what may seem like a setback, derail you. Stay focused on the momentum created by others who are paving the way, and on creating your own momentum.